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Bibimbab, the most famous of Korean dishes beside kimchi has a famous story related to it.

hen pop star Michael Jackson visited Korea, he was so fascinated with the taste of Bibimbab that he asked for a copy of the recipe for his cook. The International Plane Food Association has also chosen Bibimbap as the best food served on airplanes. In Japan, Bibimbab is getting to be so popular that chain stores are popping up everywhere. Bibimbab is also one of the most favorite foods among backpackers traveling in Korea. It is truly a dish that represents Korea to the world.

The ingredients for bibimbab are varied, with about 20 different ways to combine them. Bibimbab is not only delicious, but also looks pretty when the various colorful vegetables and meats are orderly placed on top of white rice in a bowl. Bibimbab is an excellent example of healthy Korean food that is prepared using rice and vegetables. It has only a tiny fraction of the fat and cholesterol that are usually contained in western food and additionally, it has a lot of fiber and vitamin. It is one of the few foods that promote both good health and taste.

Among the many kinds of Bibimbab, the most popular and famous is Jeonju Bibimbab. It uses rice with Yooksooh, (water boiled with meat) instead of plain rice. It also contains as egg, buckwheat noodles, chestnuts, jujube, ginkgo nuts, walnuts and pine nuts. It is served with mool kimchi to add a better taste.

   Hot Tips
Bean sprout soup with rice and Bibimbap are two delicacies of Jeonju. Traditionally, Jeonju Bibimbap was considered one of the three major dishes in Korean cuisine. If people arrive in Jeonju at night, they usually have bean sprout soup because these restaurants are open round the clock, but if they arrive during the daytime, they have bibimbap because these restaurants close early.

"Seongmidang," located in Joongang-dong in Jeonju, is a restaurant with 40 years of history whose specialty is bibimbap. There are two kinds of Bibimbap with fried beef (W7000) and with sliced beef(W8000), though other ingredients are the same and bean sprout soup is served alongside.

Located inside the alley opposite the post office, the restaurant is open from 11:00am to 10:00pm everyday except Lunar New Year's Day and Chusok holidays.
For more information, call (063) 287- 8800.

(Goh Hyeong-wuk, hwgoh@chosun.com)

(Sourced from WHAT'S ON SEOUL)

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